U.S. households will pay more to heat their homes this winter, officials say

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Flared natural gas is burned off at Apache Corporations operations at the Deadwood natural gas plant in the Permian Basin on February 5, 2015 in Garden City, Texas.

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  • Far fewer households keep their homes warm with heating oil and propane, but their costs are expected to jump even higher. Heating oil users will pay 43% more on average than they did last winter, while propane users will pay 54% more.

    The EIA said those estimates were based on weather predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is forecasting a colder winter. But the report notes that even if this winter is a bit warmer than expected, all residential consumers using any of those four fuels will still pay more for heat.

    Energy producers blame the Biden administration

    In a statement, Anne Bradbury, CEO of the American Exploration & Production Council, blasted the Biden administration for pursuing policies she said made it harder for U.S. producers to supply oil and natural gas.

    «To ensure we have a stable and affordable supply of energy here in the United States, the Biden Administration should support the domestic production of oil and natural gas, ensure the continued production on federal land, work with the industry on sensible and smart methane regulations, and stop calling for higher taxes on the American oil and gas industry,» Bradbury said.

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    But the Energy Information Administration said the main reason for the spike in energy prices is that fuel demand has shot up from recent lows faster than producers have increased supply.

    The rise in energy prices is just the latest example of how inflation has been steadily growing as the global economy resets after the first year-and-a-half of the pandemic. On Wednesday, the Labor Department reported that consumer prices rose 5.4% over the last 12 months, matching the highest level of inflation seen in the U.S. in more than a decade.

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